French Open headlines and quotes – Day 12

Tears of joy: Juan Martin del Potro was overcome with emotion after reaching his first French Open semi-final since 2009

Paris (AFP) – French Open headlines and top quotes on Thursday, the 12th day of the 2018 tournament:


+ Halep beats Muguruza to reach third Roland Garros final

+ Romanian to face Stephens for title after US Open champion sees off Keys

+ Nadal reaches 11th semi-final

+ Spaniard will face Del Potro, who downs Cilic

Who’s saying what

“I will keep it for the final and after I will tell you.”

— Simona Halep after being asked the secret to playing a strong first set.

“It’s Simona’s third final in Roland Garros, she has a great level. She’s the favourite.”

— Garbine Muguruza expects Halep to finally break her Grand Slam title duck in her fourth final.

“I will play for the fans from all over the world, because I know that many are hoping me to win this Grand Slam finally.”

— Halep hoping to do her fans proud.

“I came here without big expectations, just seeing how my body feels match by match. Now I’m (in the) semi-finals, which means something great to me. So I have nothing to lose tomorrow. We’ll see what can I do against the king of clay.”

— Juan Martin del Potro almost didn’t play in Paris due to injury, but will take on Rafael Nadal in the last four on Friday.

“I am a human person.”

— Nadal responds to being asked why he still feels pressure on court.

“It’s an extremely difficult task to do. You have to take a lot of risks. So of course he’s the favourite. But nothing is impossible. But, you know, if he plays well, I think Rafa has a really good chance to win it this year again.”

— Robin Soderling, one of only two men to beat Rafael Nadal at Roland Garros, thinks the Spaniard can win the title for an 11th time.

“It was someone who made a loud (noise) before my serve, and I made double fault. That’s why I got angry with someone. I couldn’t find the right person. But I get closer to them, just asking who was it? But I’m still trying to find the right person.”

— Del Potro explains why he became angry at a member of the crowd.

“I’ll come here tomorrow, have a hit, have lunch here, go to my room, watch TV, wait till dinner, have dinner, go to sleep. It’s pretty boring. I wish there was something exciting to tell you, but it’s really not.”

— Sloane Stephens won’t be doing anything over the top before attempting to win a second Grand Slam title.

“Yeah, yeah, yeah. I don’t know why they ask every week, every week, every week, every day. Come on, they know the answer. So why they are asking every time?”

— Diego Schwartzman would rather people didn’t always ask him about his 5ft 7in (1.70m) frame.

“For me, the final of 2010? I was in the stadium. I was in South Africa.”

— Nadal witnessed his favourite World Cup moment live when Spain beat the Netherlands in the final.

Numbers up

9 – years since Del Potro last reached the semi-finals.

3 – times Halep has lost in a Grand Slam final. She’ll be hoping to make it fourth time lucky on Saturday.

74 – unforced errors made by Marin Cilic in his quarter-final exit.

41 – Madison Keys’s tally of unforced errors in her one-sided loss to Stephens.